Musical Rhythm in Persian Poetic Meters

Musical Rhythm in Persian Poetic Meters

Musical Rhythm in Persian Poetic Meters Ehsan Shafiee Zargar (University of Texas at Arlington) Hamed Rahmani (Radboud University Nijmegen) Hamed Rahmani Hamed Rahmani PhD student of linguistics Radboud University Nijmegen Outline An overview of Persian poetic meters Short introduction to musical rhythm Persian meters as rhythmic patterns Rhythmic motives in Persian meters An overview of Persian poetic meters Persian Meters Persian vowels Persian Meters Persian vowels

Short (V) , e, o Long (V:) a, u, i Windfuhr (1979) Persian Meters Persian vowels Syllable structure Short (V) , e, o Long (V:) a, u, i Windfuhr (1979) Persian Meters Short (V) , e, o Persian vowels Syllable structure Long (V:) a, u, i CV(:)(C)(C) CV (be) CV: (bu)

CVC (bot) Windfuhr (1979) Darzi (1993) CV:C (bid) CVCC (bord) CV:CC (bist) Persian Meters Short (V) , e, o Persian vowels Syllable structure Long (V:) a, u, i CV(:)(C)(C) CV (be) light CV: (bu)

CVC (bot) heavy Windfuhr (1979) Darzi (1993) CV:C (bid) CVCC (bord) CV:CC (bist) superheavy Persian Meters Short (V) , e, o Persian vowels Syllable structure Long (V:) a, u, i CV(:)(C)(C) CV (be)

CV: (bu) CVC (bot) Windfuhr (1979) Darzi (1993) CV:C (bid) CVCC (bord) CV:CC (bist) light heavy superheavy In terms of moraic structure (Hyman, 1985), Persian syllables can be divided into three classes of light (one mora), heavy (two moras) and superheavy (three moras) syllables. Persian Meters Persian poetic meters are quantitative metrical patterns are formed by following certain arrangements of light and heavy syllables.

Persian Meters Persian poetic meters are quantitative metrical patterns are formed by following certain arrangements of light and heavy syllables. Example 1. H H L L H L H L H X 1st stanza ej n:

me to beh t rin s r: :z 2nd stanza bi: n: me to n: me

kej ko nm b:z Persian Meters Persian poetic meters are quantitative metrical patterns are formed by following certain arrangements of light and heavy syllables. Example 1. H H L L H L H L H

X 1st stanza ej n: me to beh t rin s r: :z 2nd stanza bi: n: me

to n: me kej ko nm b:z /n/ is an exception: it doesnt add to the weight of a long vowel. Persian Meters Persian poetic meters are quantitative metrical patterns are formed by following certain arrangements of light and heavy syllables. Example 1. H H L L

H L H L H X 1st stanza ej n: me to beh t rin s

r: :z 2nd stanza bi: n: me to n: me kej ko nm b:z H H L

L H H H L L X 1st stanza tl xi: n ko nd i: rin

z q nm 2nd stanza x: li n ko nd z mej d h nm Example 2. Persian Meters

Different metric patterns have been segmented and categorized in various ways. Persian Meters Different metric patterns have been segmented and categorized in various ways. Traditionally, Al-Khalils (718-786) system of describing Arabic meters has been applied to Persian meters. Each meter is composed of a certain pattern of feet. Persian Meters H H L L H L H L H X

1st stanza ej n: me to beh t rin s r: :z 2nd stanza bi: n: me

to n: me kej ko nm b:z H H L L H H H L L

X 1st stanza tl xi: n ko nd i: rin z q nm 2nd stanza x: li

n ko nd z mej d h nm Persian Meters Mfaelon Mfulo Mfail H H L L

H L H L H X 1st stanza ej n: me to beh t rin s r:

:z 2nd stanza bi: n: me to n: me kej ko nm b:z H H L

L H H H L L X 1st stanza tl xi: n ko nd i: rin z

q nm 2nd stanza x: li n ko nd z mej d h nm Persian Meters Mfaelon Mfulo

Mfail H H L L H L H L H X 1st stanza ej n: me

to beh t rin s r: :z 2nd stanza bi: n: me to n: me kej ko

nm b:z Mostflton Mostflton H H L L H H H L L X 1st stanza

tl xi: n ko nd i: rin z q nm 2nd stanza x: li n ko nd

z mej d h nm Persian Meters Persian metric patterns have been segmented and categorized in a number of ways. Traditionally, Al-Khalils (718-786) system of describing Arabic meters has been applied to Persian meters. Each meter is composed of a certain pattern of feet. Farzad (1967) categorized Persian meters into 32 feet (which may have 3, 4, 5 or 6 syllables). Each foot belongs to one of the three Hazaj, Ramal and Rajaz Arabic meters. Persian Meters Persian metric patterns have been segmented and categorized in a number of ways. Traditionally, Al-Khalils (718-786) system of describing Arabic meters has been applied to Persian meters. Each meter is composed of a certain pattern of feet. Farzad (1967) categorized Persian meters into 32 feet (which may have 3, 4, 5 or 6 syllables). Each foot belongs to one of the three Hazaj, Ramal and Rajaz Arabic meters. Elwell-Sutton (1976): since stress has no role in formation of metric

patterns, we cannot really speak of feet, and the meters are simply defined as certain sequences of syllables. Persian Meters Intuitively, Persian meters are perceived to be rhythmic. Persian Meters Intuitively, Persian meters are perceived to be rhythmic. Although Persian meters have been studied based on metrical properties of the language (e.g., Utas, 1994; Tabibzadeh, 2007), the intriguing correspondence of Persian poetic meters with musical rhythm has not been addressed. Persian Meters Intuitively, Persian meters are perceived to be rhythmic. Although Persian meters have been studied based on metrical properties of the language (e.g., Utas, 1994; Tabibzadeh, 2007), the intriguing correspondence of Persian poetic meters with musical rhythm has not been addressed. In the musical sense of the word, how rhythmic are Persian meters? How can musical rhythm be used to analyze and classify these meters? Persian meters as rhythmic patterns Metrical Structure and Rhythm Metrical structure: Regular alternations of strong and weak beats (Lerdahl & Jackendoff, 1983). Metrical Structure and Rhythm

Metrical structure: Regular alternations of strong and weak beats (Lerdahl & Jackendoff, 1983). 1 2 1 2 1 S-----w-----S-----w-----S-----w----x 1 x 2 3 1 2 S-----w-----w-----S-----w-----w----- 2 (A duple meter, e.g., 2/4)

3 (A triple meter, e.g., 3/4) Metrical Structure and Rhythm Metrical structure: Regular alternations of strong and weak beats (Lerdahl & Jackendoff, 1983). 1 2 1 2 1 S-----w-----S-----w-----S-----w----x 1 x 2 3 1 2 S-----w-----w-----S-----w-----w-----

2 (A duple meter, e.g., 2/4) 3 (A triple meter, e.g., 3/4) In musical notation, beats are given a certain note value. Note values are relative measures of duration. Metrical Structure and Rhythm Note values Whole Half Quarter Eighth Rests Metrical Structure and Rhythm Note values Rests Whole Half Quarter Eighth 1 2

1 2 2 1 3 1 1 2 3 2 1 2 3 Simple, Compound and Additive Meters Simple meters: Each beat has binary subdivisions. Simple, Compound and Additive Meters

Simple meters: Each beat has binary subdivisions. Compound meters: Each beat has ternary subdivisions. 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 Simple, Compound and Additive Meters Simple meters: Each beat has binary subdivisions. Compound meters: Each beat has ternary subdivisions. 1 1 2 2 1

1 2 2 Additive meters: beat subdivisions are irregular. 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 From Syllables to Notes The length of a syllable (in terms of moras) and the length of musical events (in terms of note durations) are both relatively defined. From Syllables to Notes

The length of a syllable (in terms of moras) and the length of musical events (in terms of note durations) are both relatively defined. How long is one mora (1)? It is half the duration of two moras (2).)? It is half the duration of two moras (2)? It is half the duration of two moras (2).). How long is an eighth note ()? It is half the duration of a quarter note (). Therefore, the three types of Persian syllables can be written as musical notes, e.g., by considering a mora to be an equivalent of a eighth note. From Syllables to Notes 1)? It is half the duration of two moras (2). = CV(:)(C)(C) CV (be) CV: (bu) CVC (bot) CV:C (bid) CVCC (bord) CV:CC (bist)

light heavy superheavy . Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 3. Traditional meter: moftelon- moftelon- moftelon- moftelon mor de H L bo dm zen L H H de o

L L dm ger H H je L bo dm xn de L H H L o dm L H Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns

Example 3. Traditional meter: moftelon- moftelon- moftelon- moftelon mor de H L bo dm zen L H H de o L L dm ger H H

je L bo dm xn de L H H L o dm L H Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 3. Traditional meter: moftelon- moftelon- moftelon- moftelon mor de H L

bo dm zen L H H de o L L dm ger H H je L bo dm xn de L

H H L o dm L H Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 4. Traditional meter: mostaflton - mostaflton tl xi n ko nd

i rin z nm H H L L H H H L L H

Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 4. Traditional meter: mostaflton - mostaflton tl xi n ko nd i rin

z nm H H L L H H H L L H

Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 5. Traditional meter: faelon - faelon - faelon - faelon mn n xod mi r vm ?u m

ra mi ke d H L H H L H H L H H L H

Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 5. Traditional meter: faelon - faelon - faelon - faelon mn n xod

mi r vm ?u m ra mi ke d H L H H L H

H L H H L H

Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 6. Traditional meter: mostflon- mostflon- mostflon- mostflon ?ej ka re van ?a hes te ran ka ra H H L H H H

H L H H me da nm mi r vd L H H H L H

Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns Example 6. Traditional meter: mostflon- mostflon- mostflon- mostflon ?ej ka re van ?a hes te ran ka ra H H L H H H H

L H H me da nm mi r vd L H H H L H Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns

The analysis of 40 commonly used meters showed that these meters can be formed based on repetition of a small number of rhythmic motives. Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns No Change mostaflon - mostaflon Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns faelaton - faelaton - faelaton - faelon Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns mfailon - mfailon - mfailon - mfailon Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns mfailon - mfailon - mfail Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns No Change moftelon - moftelon - moftelon - moftelon Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns felaton - felaton - felon

Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns No Change moftelon mfaelon - moftelon mfaelon Persian Meters as Rhythmic Patterns felato - faelaton - felato - faelaton Conclusions Persian poetic meters can be analyzed as musical rhythmic patterns. The basis for this analysis is to translate each syllable into a musical note based on its relative weight. The rhythmic patterns corresponding to Persian poetic meters can be categorized into simple, compound and additive meters. Most frequently used metric patterns can be generated by repetition of a small number of rhythmic motives. Thank you!

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